Your lawyer’s ability to help you in a car crash case depends on the information they have. Here are documents to have when meeting with car accident lawyers.
Did you know that 4.4 million people on U.S. roads suffer serious injuries annually in car crashes? Despite adhering to all the rules of safe driving, you might be a victim of a car accident. You need to have car accident lawyers who can help you get compensation after a car crash.
Your claim will be successful if you can sufficiently prove that you were not the at-fault driver and that you incurred damages. Providing your car accident attorney with the right documents is the best way to support your assertions.
The documents are proof that what you say is indeed the truth. Keep reading to know the documents you need when meeting with car accident lawyers.
1. Police Report
Law enforcers are among the first respondents in a car accident. Police officers assessing an accident usually prepare an incident or police report. They can draft the report on-scene, or after leaving the accident scene.
The information included in the report is crucial when filing for a personal injury lawsuit or claim. The officer reporting will indicate if there was any violation of traffic rules. The parties involved, such as the witnesses and drivers, will give an account of the accident.
You can get a copy of this accident report from the law enforcement agency that responded to the accident. It’s crucial to note the name or badge number of the police officer who wrote the report at the accident scene. Having the names of the involved drivers, location, and date of the accident is a prerequisite when getting a copy of this police report.
Car accident lawyers often build a case from the report given by the police. If you’re unable to get the report, your attorney will do so on your behalf. However, you’ll need the mentioned car accident details to get your report at the agency.
2. Citations or Tickets Related to the Car Accident
A report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows that about 1,001,329 drivers in the U.S. were arrested for drunk driving. Other than drunk driving, some drivers tend to exceed the stipulated speed, texting while driving, and engaging in risky behaviors on the road.
If the officers can prove these violations, the driver involved will be given traffic tickets. The citation enables you to prove to the insurance company that you were not at fault. Your attorney should further confirm that the responsible party has been given the citation, which should be indicated in the police report.
Your attorney needs to know if you have been issued a ticket. Your car accident lawyer will review the ticket to establish the best way forward. Having a traffic ticket doesn’t necessarily mean that one is liable for the accident.
3. Medical Report
You don’t need to have visible injuries for you to seek medical attention after a car crash! Some victims sustain internal injuries, and they might never know until when it’s too late. Unfortunately, if you don’t file a claim as soon as the accident happens, you can’t claim that you got injuries a year later.
Car accidents lawyers need you to show medical records to prove you sustained injuries from the car accident. It is important to have an Independent Medical Examination as soon as possible. The resultant medical records should indicate the entire healthcare journey from diagnosis, treatment, prescriptions, and any medical recommendation.
You can request several medical records from your doctor. Some of these crucial reports include;
- Hospital admission record
- Emergency services
- Prescription documents
- Treatment by your primary doctor
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
- Other specialized treatment.
Keep all the receipts of the medical care received. You need to have proof of all the out-of-pocket expenses. Every detail in your medical record will be crucial in your car accident case.
4. Pay Records
When you suffer a workplace accident, you can apply for workers’ compensation to cover lost wages. The process is often not faced with hurdles if you reported the workplace accident on time. What about a car accident where your employer isn’t involved?
Injuries from a car accident might make you lose time from work. Consequently, you will have lost wages, which can escalate your financial woes. The right documents will prove that the auto accident made you miss your income.
Your car accident lawyer will need your pay stubs to show that you have indeed lost your earnings following the injuries. Copies of recent tax returns can also prove the amount you’re likely to lose if you will be unable to work. Gather every relevant detail of your pre-accident earnings and your anticipated post-accident wages for your lawyer to have an estimate of lost income.
5. Car Accident Lawyers Require Photographs for Evidence
Pictures can tell a story better than words could ever do! Your car accident case will have more grounding if you have relevant photos of the scene. You can take pictures of the vehicles involved in the crash, roads, and injuries.
The photographs shed light on some aspects of the case that you or the reporting officer might have missed. You can request other parties such as emergency responders or tow truck drivers to share photos they took at the accident scene. Accompanying your narrative with images will give you adequate leverage in your case.
You might also want to document your recovery journey with images. It would help to take pictures of your injuries from day one until you recover fully. Your lawyer will assess all the photos to establish their practicality in your case.
6. Statements from Witnesses
In a typical car accident, involved parties will say anything to acquit themselves. It’s often ‘my word versus your word,’ which can hinder the clarity of resolution. Witnesses are third-parties who can give their unbiased report on what actually happened.
Witnesses might have first-hand information on the environmental and physical factors that could have caused the accident. It is crucial to request witness statements, which you can write down. Don’t forget to get the names and contact information of these witnesses in case you need them for clarity in your case.
Some witnesses take photos and videos of the accident. Such evidence can be essential when filing a claim. Have everything in writing or recording as some witnesses might change the story along the way.
7. Evidence of Policy Payments
If you have an injury in the workplace, your employer will play a critical role in your compensation. However, your involvement in the claim process after an auto accident is inevitable. You need to have proof of premium payments for your auto insurance.
Car insurance lawyers often review the insurance policy to know whether you will make an underinsured or uninsured claim with your auto insurance. The policy shows your coverage, which will be useful when filing a claim. An insurance policy further shows if any exclusions might affect your compensation.
An experienced attorney will know how to go about a case if your insurance isn’t enough. As such, it would help to have all the insurance-related documents when you meet with your lawyer.
8. Estimates of Vehicle Damage
The cost of motor vehicle repairs increased by 61.07% between 2000 and 2017. After an accident, prices of car repair have continued to rise, making it hard for victims to cater to the expenses. Fortunately, the standard auto insurance covers for vehicle damage.
If you have your car damaged in an accident, you are entitled to payment of repairs as part of the insurance claim. You need to have estimates of the repair costs. Some situations will necessitate you to have your car’s actual cash value.
Insurance companies often estimate the damages depending on the policy. You might also need to consider getting estimates from two or three auto mechanics. The estimate of the damages plays a central role in determining the amount an insurer will pay.
9. Information Exchanged at the Scene of the Accident
At the scene of the accident, it is advisable to exchange relevant information with other involved parties. Drivers can exchange information such as their names, phone numbers, addresses, and driver’s licenses. You can also share your social media contact or email.
Keep the information shared safely as your attorney will use it to build your case. However, you need to be keen when exchanging the information as most drivers will try to argue they are not at fault. Avoid admitting any mistakes at this point or apologizing as anything you say will be used against you.
Car Accident Lawyers Need Several Documents to Get You the Rightful Compensation
After a car accident, the last thing you want to do is pursuing a car accident case without legal assistance. It will be draining and expensive. Worse still, you might be limited if you have sustained injuries after the accident.
It would help to look for car accident lawyers who can help with your case. An accident attorney will do the donkey work for you as you recuperate. Given that accident attorneys deal with insurance companies regularly, they know how to go about a case to get you the rightful compensation.
Do you need a car accident lawyer to get the compensation you deserve? Contact us today for a free consultation as we plan the way forward with your case.